Poetry: Ithaka

Dear Penelope, do you now sleep among the catacombs?

Scarves of white drift over the Aegean – an altar of bottomless blue.

I have gone to the edge of the world and still cannot find you.

Even the olive trees raise their spangled limbs skyward in longing.

Mother Earth slides her abacus beads, conjures storms quick as curses.

When lightning struck, did the boat protect or beckon the bolt?

Island flowers shut their eyes only when the stars disrobe – hope and sorrow held
within the same root.

She imagines him bright-toothed & swarthy, but her husband is just sunburned & homesick.

So many suitors holding her skeins – she’s woven a trail for her waylaid mariner, long
as his beard and her undoing.

In twenty years she has never asked, What shall I wish for myself?

Odysseus wonders, Do I have the right to return?

Maids cast offerings to the sea: red rose petals and grape leaves, love and wine all that remain.


** The line What shall I wish for myself? is a reworking Mary Oliver’s line What shall I wish for, for myself ?

-Kelly Cressio-Moeller, just published in Thrush Poetry Journal

Quotidian: Woman

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Poetry: Tear It Down

We find out the heart only by dismantling what
the heart knows. By redefining the morning,
we find a morning that comes just after darkness.
We can break through marriage into marriage.
By insisting on love we spoil it, get beyond
affection and wade mouth-deep into love.
We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars.
But going back toward childhood will not help.
The village is not better than Pittsburgh.
Only Pittsburgh is more than Pittsburgh.
Rome is better than Rome in the same way the sound
of racoon tongues licking the inside walls
of the garbage tub is more than the stir
of them in the muck of the garbage. Love is not
enough. We die and are put into the earth forever.
We should insist while there is still time. We must
eat through the wildness of her sweet body already
in our bed to reach the body within the body.

-Jack Gilbert

Quotidian: Sundays


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Poetry: Dear Mucha

It is raining in Manhattan. I am sitting in a chair overlooking 14th street and I realize you were right. I told you that people are taller than buildings. I told you that there are many green places in the city. Look at Central Park, for instance.

In the morning pink light falls across hardwood floor, spreading out like a thousand peonies, and I imagine that it is a greeting from you. But it is nighttime now, and raining so it makes no difference if I tell you a few real things. Today I saw a billboard advertising cigarettes and in a fit of frenzy went home and burned dinner.

And could you love me if I was pretty enough to be painted on your billboards? I would let my hair down long enough to collect pools of curls at my waist. I would pose naked in front of your tall landscapes and reach out with both arms pulling this city into my body.

And Mucha, the weather is all over this house.

I thought of such things while walking to a shop to buy cigarettes. In Manhattan, the streets smell like a wet cement and baked bread. It feels like the whole city is yawning. I, too, am tired of this body.

Yours, Catherine

-Catherine Bresner in Burnt District

Quotidian: Creativity

creativityquote

This beautiful quote was hand-lettered by Foolish Fire

Video of the Day – Gorgeous, Dreamy “Ambien”

‘Ambien’ by Sarah Sloat from Nic Sebastian on Vimeo.

YA Book Review: Airhead by Meg Cabot

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Airhead, Meg Cabot

HATED this book. One of the most sexist narratives I’ve ever read, and from a woman, to boot.

Emerson Watts is comfortable in her own skin. She loves video games, medical documentaries, and hanging out with her equally nerdy best friend Christopher, whom she only wishes would see her as a girl instead of his asexual buddy. Until a bizarre accident makes her a participant in a brain transplant meant to save her life, in which she’s given the body – and forced to take over the identity – of a world-famous teen supermodel.

………….
………….

Leaving the sheer bloody ludicrousness of the plot aside, the message this book is sending – to teen girls no less – is that it’s not okay or enough to just have interests and be yourself and have nerdy interests (interests which in real life would make you totally hot to a lot of guys, something the book was conspicuously silent on – do you know how many guys would love a woman who plays video games? A LOT). You can’t *just* be smart and have hobbies and your own personality – you must ALSO have the body of a supermodel and a smile that turns virtually every guy who sees into jelly.

Because at the end of the day, why settle for being yourself? When you can be smart, nerdy, AND hot? Thus fulfilling every male fantasy ever??? Seriously if Cabot had created a female character with men in mind she couldn’t have done a better job. Em in this novel becomes the teenage epitome of Gillian Flynn’s accurately-sketched, terrible Cool Girl in Gone Girl. The representation of Male Desire and its supremacy in culture and in narrative.

I HATED this novel with every fiber of my literature-loving, chick-lit-loving, feminist body. Excuse me while I go read some Kafka, *anything,* to get this taste out of my mouth.

P.S. Emerson – or rather her body – expires when a TV falls on her. I’m not making this stuff up, folks. 

P.P.S. The fact that there are two more books in this series makes me want to enlist The Bride (see Kill Bill if you haven’t seen it yet y’all) to track Cabot down and put the fear of woman into her so she never writes such a book again. I’ve read and liked/loved a lot of Cabot. This, is unworthy of her.

Separate Beds: Short Fiction

If all short stories had the fierce, ferocious immediacy of Jahla Seppanen’s, I’d read a lot more short stories.

“I don’t miss her as I thought I would. Sure, at night, but what’s night without some loneliness. Even when we were married I would wake up, her on the far side of the bed and me on the other, and I would feel lonely although she was close. My parents slept in separate beds. They said it helped parry feelings of being unwanted. When they kissed in the morning over coffee and eggs, it was a real kiss. Not an afterthought to the seven o’clock alarm. Not a simple recognition of the other’s being. A real kiss.

The separation began when I suggested spending a month in Morocco.”

Read more at Turk’s Head Review

Foxes ‘Doctor Who’ Performance – “Don’t Stop Me Now”

Foxes cover Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” with airy, velvet perfection in Doctor Who‘s “Mummy on the Orient Express” episode.

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